Philippines Exotic Food—The Rats of Pampanga


Do you remember the film Ratatouille, where the main character was a rat named Remy? Can you imagine eating him? In Pampanga they do, and they call it dagang bukid (field rat).

These are not just any ordinary rat. You can’t find it, for example, in your house skulking in dark corners.

These dagang bukid which people in Pampanga find delicious, only eat rice from rice fields. Considered as pests by farmers, one of the ways they try to eradicate them is to eat them.

Paula, one of my readers from Magalang, Pampanga, is petrified of house rats. However , due to circumstances (financial, mostly), her family has to eat dagang bukid occasionally.


According to her, it looks disgusting; black and hairy like the ones you usually in your house. However, when her mother cleans it up and cooks it, it can be palatable. They usually have it adobo-style; cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, and a bit of sugar.

One of the things that you have to struggle with when you eat rats is your perspective. You think it’s icky and disgusting, then you won’t get to enjoy it.

Paula couldn’t eat it at first, but then when she looked at the meat slices, she convinced herself it looked and tasted like chicken. And she found out that she was right. If she didn’t know it was rats, she’d be convinced it was chicken!

How about you? Would you like to eat rats also? Just go to Pampanga then and have the time of your life eating Fear Factor food!

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